Dining Out: Voodoo Magic in Downtown Portland...And Some Kickass Tacos Too

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And that just about sums it up...

...thanks for reading!

Just kidding.

This past weekend The Hubsters, Little Girl and Little Boy and I ventured south into Portland. I've been obsessed with Voodoo Doughnuts since seeing the episode on Portland on No Reservations, so I was extremely excited to go. So excited, that I dieted for a full week in anticipation. And good thing I did.

We made the 3.5 hour treck down on a crisp Saturday morning, arriving in the smack middle of downtown Portland shortly after noon.

Blue skies, warmer weather...the day was turning promising. I loved all the cool architecture and random ornately carved gargoyle thingies:

There was such a sense of Other Time. Despite the massive amount of people (we managed to arrive in the middle of a farmers market), and uncomfortably large presence of skeevy homeless people (one dude actually walked into this chick in line in front of me), it was a breath of drug-infused fresh air to check out the different buildings and spirit of the town.

Yes, Portland is "weird."

It's anarchy at its finest: a total disregard for "normalcy" to the point where you're wondering what actually defines "normal." Unmasked, unrefined, unkempt at times...everyone walked around being themselves with unabashed confidence. It was terrifyingly refreshing. I didn't realize how uptight I was before I went here. And my conclusion: I'm seriously uncool.

I contemplated this as well as various other thoughts during the 2 hours I stood in line outside of Voodoo Doughnuts. The line, predictably, ran way past the corner and onto another street.

And did I mention it's located next to a porn store?

Good times.

I held our place in line while The Hubsters ran out with the kids to grab some food. I expected some sort of hot dog or vegetarian fare to greet me in 15 minutes, but instead I got this little piece of heaven:

That would be a Nutella-Marshmallow Waffle Sandwich.

Oh my fucking god. This was amazing. Although I was hoping for some serious savory to combat my upcoming consumption of vass quantities of sugar, I could not resist my most favorite of ingredients -- Nutella. Crispy vanilla-scented waffle filled with warm nutella and gooey melted marshmallows...holy shit this was waffle at its finest. For 3 glorious minutes I didn't mind the fifth bum asking me for money.


The line moved at a glacial pace, so I sent The Hubsters and The Kids back to the air-conditioned car to do work and watch a DVD. That was about as much scenery as these three were going to take in, so might as well move on and start doing something constructive I say.

So I stayed and braved the line -- in heels, mind you -- while a gaggle of annoying high schoolers with a particularly irritating Russian exchange student continued to bug the ever-loving shit out of me for the next hour and half. "Blah blah...my dad drives a Prius....blah blah my calculus teacher sucks...."

Shut...the eff...up. I don't give a shit. All I can think of is glazed with sprinkles.

Two years later I finally rounded the corner and saw the sign:

It was like a beacon of hope. At this point, and seriously baking in the now You're So Much Hotter Than I Thought When I Got Dressed This Morning sun, I was beginning to seriously question my sanity. I've gotten to this point? Standing in line for 2 hours for fucking doughnuts? Really?

These better be worth it....these better be worth it...

Made it inside! Check out the menu at the front:

Of course I wanted one of everything, but The Hubsters gave me strict rules vis-a-vis one $20 to limit my purchases. He chose wisely, because I was certainly capable of ordering every single doughnut and justifying my gluttony by blaming you people reading this. So I had to carefully select, editing down my choices to what I thought sounded and looked most interesting. Plus one "normal" vanilla sprinkles doughnuts for Little Girl and Little Boy.

I ended up with the famed Maple Bacon -- maple glaze, crispy bacon; the Voodoo Doll -- chocolate ganache, raspberry filling, frosted face; and the Diabolos Rex -- chocolate doughnut, chocolate glaze, chocolate chips and frosted pentagram. Tee hee.

Of course the bacon was up first...


Verdict: SO worth the 2 hour wait. SO worth the 3.5 hour drive. SO worth gaining these 10 pounds.

Best. Doughnuts. Ever.

Yes, that means better than Dunkin Donuts.

Kicks Winchell's ass.

Donut guy in L.A. who? Who gives a shit. I don't. I got Voodoo. And I don't' mind almost getting Hepatitis C from Bum #22 to get them.

The maple doughnut was perfectly fresh -- soft and chewy with little resistance to the bite, the glaze was not overly-mapled and the bacon was smoked and crispy. I wish they had more bacon on there though. The voodoo doll was seriously the best doughnut ever. Super soft and chewy again with the best chocolate glaze I've had in my life. It wasn't too sugary and had a distinct flavor of chocolaty goodness. The raspberry filling was To Die For -- sweet and tart and gooey and wonderful. And the frosting was delightful. The Diablos Rex is the best chocolate doughnut I've had, hands down. Light and moist cake doughnut with perfectly balanced chocolate flavor again, that wonderful chocolate ganache, and thick piping of sugar frosting with an economical sprinkling of red sprinkles. SO wonderful. So evil. So good it's bad. And it's good to be bad.

And they were cheap! Most doughnuts were $1!!! With the more elaborate Cock n Balls and Tex-ass around $5. But these are 3 and 6 doughnuts respectively combined into one large, unabashed Super Doughnut.

Definitely worth checking out next time you're in Portland. And if you go, tell me and I'll go with you.

But our culinary tour did not end there...

As we drove through downtown we noticed a Boulevard of Food Trucks:

God hear our prayers, dearest people. Cheap, fast, good food without roaches and E. coli!!! All in one place!!!

We had a taco tour. Some Mexican style tacos (one carnitas, one asada):

And then some korean tacos:

Have to be honest here. Love the flavors going on with the Korean one but the corn tortilla was out of place. Hated it. Distracted too much. Found it rubbery and weird in comparison to the fabulous marinated kolgi and kimshi slaw. Why hasn't anyone done crispy tacos? I think that would go a lot better!
We stuffed ourselves, nay gorged on a plethora of tacos and fluffy doughnuts. And the entire day, counting The Waffle Of Life, cost us under $25.
Loving this new trend for food trucks and cheeky breakfast foods.
Now where to next?


Maryn said...

Ummm TWO HOURS? Good lord. If I have the patience on my trip up at the end of the month, I will be bringing you some more! Great post, those doughnuts look exactly like they do on the website - scary and delicious at the same time!

Chandra said...

I knew Bourdain would not let you down!

Nora said...

Okay, so I know distance and offspring make this difficult, but you gotta go to Voodoo at night. Last time I was there at 10 or 11 pm and we waited less than 15 minutes! Glad you enjoyed them!

San Francisco. Dynamo donuts. Maple bacon apple. Caramel fleur de sel. Chocolate Rosemary almond. Worth a visit...

Amanda Ebner said...

Your patience astounds me. When I was in Portland, despite my oft-repeated and legitimate claim that 26 donuts would be my last meal on Death Row, I took one look at the Voodoo line and ran screaming back to Jake's to eat an entire loaf of sourdough. That said...AMAZING FOOD SCENE. I am crazy obsessed with that city.

Christa Jeanne said...

Gah!!! As soon as I saw a post on Portland, my first thought was "She better have gone to Voodoo Donuts!" So glad you didn't disappoint - and that THEY didn't disappoint. Sounds delish! I'm loving the Korean taco concept, too. Did you ever try Kogi BBQ in California? They added Naranja, the OC truck, after I left, but I'll seek them out when I'm down there next. From what I hear, they're as tasty as they sound.